Cranberry North Carolina


Cranberry is an unincorporated community in Avery County, North Carolina. The community was founded in 1850 and was named after Cranberry Creek, which flows in the area. The community is located one mile south of the town of Elk Park, along US 19E.

Before the settlement of Cranberry, the area was already known for one of the largest veins of iron ore in the United States.  During the Civil War, iron was produced for the Confederate Army.  In 1882, the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC or “Tweetsie”) linked Cranberry with Johnson City, Washington County, Tennessee, it was later extended on to Montezuma, Avery County, North Carolina in 1904, eventually reaching Boone, Watauga County, North Carolina by 1919. During this time, Cranberry was incorporated as a town and had a hotel, cafe, stables, post office, and general store. It was disincorporated sometime after 1929 when the Cranberry Iron Furnace was closed. The ET&WNC railroad to Cranberry was decommissioned in 1950. At present, a church, a combined elementary and middle school, garage, nursing facility, and store remain in operation, and the historic old Cranberry High School still stands, which is now a community center.

Cranberry, Avery County, North Carolina
Cranberry, North Carolina
Column 1Column 2
Population:538 (2020)
Named ForCranberry Creek

Named For

Cranberry Creek


Cranberry Creek - Avery County, North Carolina
Cranberry Creek


Location: 36° 8′ 35″ N81° 57′ 58″ W

Area – Land:  

Area – Water:  

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Nearby Locations

LocationDistance (mi)Driving Time (hh:mm)
Elk Park1.600:03
Sugar Mountain12.000:23
Beech Mountain13.600:28
Banner Elk17.900:46


Cranberry North Carolina

North Carolina Historical Markers

Cranberry Mines – N6 (1939)

Marker Text:

Iron ore deposits near here were mined from ca. 1826 until 1930.  Supplied iron to the Confederacy.


Cranberry, NC Gallery